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Static Electricity Sparks Fire at Hinckley Fiberglass Shop


Paraphrased by:
Steve Waldrop
December 16, 2003

Static electricity may have been the cause of a late-morning fire in the fiberglass shop at the Hinckley Co. jet-boat production facility. Firefighters were called to the facility shortly before noon.

The shop, measuring some 60 feet by 100 feet, is just one of several large metal buildings owned by Hinckley in the Trenton Industrial Park. An estimated 400 people build the famed Hinckley jet-powered boats and yachts at the facility, which was built in 1997.

Fire officials think static electricity, created when plastic was pulled off the hull of a boat, sparked the fire. The company said later the cause remains under investigation.

One employee was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation, but no other injuries were reported, according to Fire Chief Kelton Muise.

The building was damaged mostly by the smoke from the fire and not from flames, Muise said.

Sandy Spaulding, president of Hinckley Yachts, said the facility will shut down until Monday while crews clean up after the incident.

"Now we want to be sure that we clean everything up properly and get everything in order before our employees return to work so that we can provide a safe workplace," Spaulding said.

The Hinckley Company founded in 1928 originally built wooden workboats, but today enjoys being the pre-emiment builder of sail and powerboat in the U.S.

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